Audi A6 Avant e-tron concept unveiled

The A6 e-tron concept has now been joined by a more practical Avant variant, previewing Audi’s upcoming electric estate

Audi has released images of its eye-catching all-electric A6 Avant e-tron concept, which packs a 469bhp punch, can demolish the 0-62mph sprint in under 4sec and can travel 435 miles on a single charge. More importantly, this bold estate could form the basis for an all-electric RS6.

As with the A6 e-tron Sportback concept revealed last year, the new Avant previews Audi’s next generation A6 saloon and estate models, which are due to arrive in 2024. Much of what you see here is likely to make it to the production car, including the large ‘single frame’ faired-in front grille, muscular wheel arch design, full width LED rear lamps and trademark Avant steeply raked tailgate.

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It’s certainly the right size to be the next A6 Avant. With external dimensions that measure 4.96 metres long, 1.96 metres wide and 1.44 metres high, the e-tron sits in pretty much the same footprint as the current car. Yet thanks to the inherent packaging advantages of an EV drivetrain, there promises to be more space for people and luggage.

Underpinning the A6 Avant e-tron is the new PPE (Premium Platform Electric) architecture that Audi has developed in partnership with Porsche, a platform that will also find its way to the next generation Macan. This is a development of the J1 platform (used on the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT) and the scalable MEB structure seen on smaller VW Group products.

For the A6 e-tron Avant concept, Audi has packaged a pair of electric motors (one for the front axles and another for the rear, delivering quattro all-wheel drive) which combine to deliver 463bhp and a thumping 590lb ft of torque, enough for a sub-4sec dash to 62mph. However, it’s not hard to imagine Audi utilising the 637bhp powertrain from the current RS e-tron GT to deliver an RS variant.

Agile handling shouldn’t be a problem, because like the Sportback concept, the Avant features a battery located below the floor and between the axles for a low centre of gravity and improved weight distribution. Air springs and adaptive dampers have been included on the concept, with a front suspension set-up that uses an EV optimized five-link arrangement, while multi-link axles are to be found at the rear.

Audi hasn’t revealed exact specifications for the lithium ion battery pack, but it has revealed that it has a capacity of ‘around’ 100kWh, enough to carry the Avant 435 miles on a single charge. The car also features 800V architecture and has the capacity to charge at 270kW, which Audi claims results in the ability to add 186 miles of range in just 10 minutes.

Some of the features seen on the concept are unlikely to make the production car, at least not initially, but have plenty of potential. Most interesting of all is the car’s LED lighting technology, which goes way beyond allowing you to see where you are going in the dark. Mounted in the sides of the car are high resolution LED projectors that can beam customisable images onto the ground, such as a warning to cyclists that one of the car doors is about to be opened.

More innovative still are the Digital Matrix LED headlamps. Not only do they do all the usual high beam ‘masking’ trickery, they can also project what Audi claims are ‘cinematic’ quality images and video onto a wall when you’re parked up. It means that you and a passenger can play video games on what’s essentially a huge screen while waiting for the car charge.

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